Siderata - friendly helpers
The benefits of green fertilizers cannot be overestimated. They improve the soil structure, enrich it with nutrients, saturate it with nitrogen, stop erosion processes, suppress weed growth, reproduction of pests and diseases, contribute to the active life of earthworms and beneficial microorganisms ... And all this with minimal labor and financial investment! For this reason, more and more people are talking about siderats and are increasingly recommending them for use. However, as with any business, there are different sides to their application, which would not only be interesting to consider, but also useful.
The direction of exposure to different sideral cultures
When deciding what to sow on your beds as siderats, you should not follow the path “at random”, because each crop used as a green fertilizer has features that can enhance this or that soil improvement effect.
So, if there is a need for prevention of beds from scab, nematodes, various rot and wireworm - White mustard, Pancake radish, rapeseed, oats and marigolds will be an excellent choice.
On heavy soils they will "work well" as baking powder - annual phacelia, horned lamb, radish, oats, vetch, rye, mustard, rapeseed and buckwheat.
For the effect of "two in one" (loosening and enrichment with minerals) legumes are good - they not only saturate the upper soil layers with phosphorus and nitrogen, but also contribute to the improvement of its structure.
Buckwheat, vetch, alfalfa and phacelia are also grown to obtain a large amount of vegetative mass used for mulching.
Beans are sown to reduce soil acidity.
And strongly aromatic cultures (marigolds, lupins, sweet clover, fatseliya, rape and white mustard) also with the aim of scaring away from pests.
How to get the most out of sideral crops
The first thing you need to start with when considering the principles of growing and using green manure is that these crops can and should be grown all season, without leaving the beds empty. Since the timing of their planting is not limited, they can be planted in the early spring, at the end of the spring season, in the summer and after harvesting the main crop.
Cut siderates necessary in the budding phase. It is during this period that plants do not yet have a hard stem and are able to decompose well. At the same time, their roots are by no means dug up, and the vegetative mass is left on the surface of the earth as mulch.
Cutting siderates should be made two weeks before planting the main crops. This avoids excessive accumulation of colins in the soil (root discharges harmful to plants), washed up the accumulated ones, and makes it possible to decompose the remaining root system in the soil, which significantly improves the structure of the fertile layer.
If green manure is used with embedment in the soil, then they must be scoured on the lips by no more than 8 cm in heavy soils and 12-15 cm in the lungs. At the same time, cutting of green fertilizer can also occur at the time of flowering - a coarser green mass gives a greater yield of organics, a younger one - nitrogen. Planting of the main crops after this application is carried out no earlier than in 2-4 weeks, depending on the maturity of the stems of the siderata embedded in the soil.
In regions with late return frosts, siderates are also used as a living wings from frost. To do this, seedlings of vegetables are planted directly in the green manure crop, and after the threat of low temperatures has passed, green fertilizers are cut and used as mulch.
Siderata is also good where there is a struggle with soil erosion. Sown with a dense carpet, they prevent not only leaching, but also weathering of the fertile layer.
Sideral crops are also used to suppress weeds. To do this, they sow problem areas before planting the main crops. At the same time, it is good to alternate the types of green fertilizer, thereby influencing various aspects of improving soil indicators.
- Sowing of green manure can be carried out at different times, depending on the need.
- When choosing a sideral culture, the predecessor is necessarily taken into account (cruciferous plants do not sow after cruciferous plants, etc.).
- When sowing seeds, the method of continuous scattering is applied, with obvious thickening (moreover, in spring, more, in autumn a little less).
- Watering green fertilizers is carried out with a focus on the natural needs of the crop, as when growing it for the main crop.
- For faster decomposition of the cut green mass of green manure, the treatment of mulch with the Radiance preparation is good.
When deciding to grow green manure crops, you need to know that the maximum effect of their use is not immediately apparent, but for 2-3 years, and lasts up to 5 years.